Despite having a vision of becoming an accountant after graduation, Matt Strosnider ’10, ’11, followed his lifelong love of music and used his business skills to become the owner of his family owned store, Shenandoah Music, in Winchester, Virginia.
For as long as he can remember, Strosnider has always loved to sing, but he isn’t the only one in the family who has a passion for music.
“My father and all his brothers (except for one who lives in Oregon) played music growing up,” said Strosnider. “And, all of them continue to play music today. My grandfather and great uncles on my father’s side all play music. My mother played the piano at church growing up, and her parents were in a gospel quartet. So, I guess it pretty much runs in the family.”
With music being such an integral part of his life as a child, his love for music continued to grow and flourish. However, it wasn’t what Strosnider wanted to do for his career.
So he attended Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2010 and a Master of Business Administration in 2011. Once he graduated, he went to work for his uncle, Roger Strosnider, as a sales representative at his local business, Shenandoah Music.
“My uncle had just lost a sales person at his store and needed an extra hand, so he approached me about working for him, with the intention being that I would eventually take over the business,” said Strosnider.
However, after working at the store for five years, Strosnider began to have doubts about working in retail. He left Shenandoah Music for a new job, but soon realized he had made a mistake.
And, as fate would have it, his uncle called him around the same time to tell Strosnider he was retiring and wanted to know if he was interested in taking over the business. After weighing the options with his family and praying a lot, Strosnider knew this was the right choice for the next step in his career.
On Feb. 28, 2018, he became the proud new owner of Shenandoah Music. As the owner and operator of the business, he handles inventory management (ordering products), bookkeeping, payroll, customer service, marketing and, of course, sales.
The business skills Strosnider learned from Shenandoah prepared him for running his own business.
“The BBA program at the Byrd School of Business allowed me to customize my bachelor’s degree,” said Strosnider. “In my case I focused on accounting, but taking courses like marketing, supply chain management and organizational behavior gave me a working knowledge that I call upon daily.”
Though Shenandoah prepared him for daily office tasks, Strosnider’s musical background also plays a major role in how he operates the business. Being a working musician (he, his wife Kara Edmonson Strosnider ’09, ’10, and his twin brother Jason ’13, perform throughout the area in the band Kara & the Wayfarers) gives him a better understanding of what products and services his customers need.
I understand what my customers expect out of the equipment they purchase from me or the services that I provide to them, because I would expect the same high level of quality, and that is exactly what I aim to give them.” Matt Strosnider ’10, ’11
Recently, a customer thanked him for his high level of customer service, which included “taking the time to show him [a] bass guitar, [which] was something that he never even considered playing.”
He says it’s also very rewarding to see the positive reactions from new and longtime customers when they hear that he is the new owner of Shenandoah Music.
Strosnider was able to take what he learned from his time at the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business and incorporate it into his family’s business, continuing the family’s dedication to its love of music.